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Samara House, West Lafayette

4.8
#2 of 7 in Things to do in West Lafayette
Samara, also known as the John E. Christian House, is a house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright located in West Lafayette, Indiana. The home is an example of the Usonian homes that Wright designed. Samara was built from 1954 to 1956 and was still occupied by the original owner, John E. Christian, until he died on July 12, 2015.HistoryIn 1950 John and Kay Christian decided to build a home near Purdue University where they both worked, John as a pharmaceutical chemistry professor and Kay as the social director for the university. After much discussion they had a decision that Wright was the architect who suited the ideals for their home. Not knowing how to proceed, John phoned Wright directly at his office and was surprisingly able to speak directly to the famed architect. Over the next six years they worked together both with meetings in West Lafayette, Indiana and at Taliesin, Wright's summer home in Spring Green, Wisconsin. The home was named after the samara which Wright spotted on the property during his first visit. He worked a stylized design of chevron-shaped leaves throughout the design of the home including the clerestory windows, dining chairs and the living room rug. These designs, nicknamed The Winged Seed, are located on the perforated upper windows and were also used on the Bachman Wilson Usonian home. The house was built to entertain the family's college students; the living room was designed for 50 people. It featured a long couch and room for sitting on the stairs.
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Samara House Reviews
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59 reviews
Google
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TripAdvisor
  • We were visiting my son for Parents' weekend at Purdue and this became one of the highlights of our visit. This FLW house is located in a quiet beautiful neighborhood in West Lafayette. Linda, the cur...  more »
  • The John Christiansons wrote to the famous architect and they won an unlikely prize- a custom designed home for their lot near a highway but close to Purdue University. Working with the great man resu...  more »
  • This house has low cellings and is very bad. The house can not hold a lot of people. And the house smells bad and the furnitures ugly.  more »
Google
  • Well worth the tour even if you aren't a die hard FLW fan. Its a little hidden gem right near campus. Be sure to call ahead as the tours are at set times and days. We went for design ideas and got that plus a lot of really interesting history. The guide is fantastic and the house is in excellent shape.
  • Beautiful. Call ahead. You'll need 4-5 people for a tour. The guide will give you really interesting stories about the former owner and his interactions with Frank Lloyd Wright.
  • Samara is a hidden treasure in West Lafayette! I have been there twice and would readily go back again! Great day trip with friends! Linda Earle is one of the best tour guide and teachers I have ever met!
  • I never really "got" Frank Lloyd Wright until I visited this house. The way that it is an integrated whole is truly amazing.
  • Thanks for the tour Linda! Top marks for knowledgeable guide and venue. Great and friendly atmosphere to enjoy FLW's creation in West Lafayette.

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